November 2005

Cyber News and Reviews is a monthly column published for parents, teachers & business owners featuring kids educational software reviews, business software reviews (small business & home business), games and entertainment articles, a free resource since 1995.


Adobe InDesign CS2 Desktop Publishing Program

By Howard Berenbon

If you’re looking for a full-featured desktop publishing program then you’re in the right place, because Adobe InDesign CS2 is the latest and greatest desktop publisher from Adobe Systems replacing Adobe PageMaker (originally reviewed in my November 1997 column).  Adobe InDesign offers some of the features of PageMaker and even looks and acts like the original program, but that's not all.  If offers more control over your layouts, graphic files and type fonts and supports Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Adobe PDF file formats.  If you're familiar with the layers interface used in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, then you'll appreciate the layers feature in Adobe InDesign. It allows you to create and edit layers without affecting other parts of your document.  Layers may also be turned on or off depending on your document requirements.

Adobe InDesign CS2 is supplied on 3 CDs: two for installation and a third with a free training video workshop.  After about a 10 minute installation, activation is required, which was quick over the Internet. Then you’re ready to create your documents, but not before you get your version updated online.  This can take some time (several minutes), depending on what updates are available and the speed of your Internet connection.  You'll also find a very easy to read 412 page printed user guide, if you need help and like to read manuals (like I do), or you can access their extensive and searchable on-screen help.

The Startup Screen offers several options including create a new document, create a document from a template and open an existing document. From that same screen you can find out what's new in InDesign, access the tutorials and see what resources and extras are available.  To start an existing document, click on the Open Document box to display your My Documents folder.  When you create a new document or open an existing document, it looks a lot like PageMaker but with more controls available on screen. On the left you'll see a floating tool bar, and at the top your text and page controls, plus more information about your document at the right margin.

Here are some of the new features available:

Adobe Bridge

The newest feature in InDesign, not available in PageMaker is Adobe Bridge.  It allows you to browse, organize, label, and preview graphics and documents, templates and snippets (objects that you can use in other documents).

Object Styles

To use, you save graphics, text and frame-level attributes as object styles and then globally update them in your document.

Adobe Photoshop and PDF Layer Support

Allows you to display layers and layer comps in Photoshop® files, and layers in Adobe PDF files, to you determine the best layout for production, all while linking to a single file.


Snippets are InDesign objects that you export to use in other documents or share with other designers.

Adobe InCopy CS2 Assignments

Assign only the elements of a document that an editor needs to work on in InCopy® CS2.

Anchored Objects

Easily control the positioning of Anchored Objects, apply text wrap settings, and more.

Smart Text Handling

Improved text handling features including the ability to drag and drop and paste without formatting text, plus an integrated word processing tool to enable quicker editing.

Improved Microsoft Word and RTF support

Automatically style Microsoft Word files on import by mapping Word styles to InDesign styles.

Flexible XML Support

Import XML files with greater control, including linking to XML content for easier updating.


If you've tried, but can't solve your problem searching through their help files, you can access their step-by-step tutorials for a more in depth help on using InDesign.

Adobe InDesign is one of the best and highly professional desktop publishing program on the market today.  It sells for $689.99 and will run on any multimedia PC, Pentium III or 4 processor, Windows 2000 with Service Pack 3 or Windows XP, 256 MB RAM and a CD-ROM drive. 

Software Companies Mentioned

Adobe Systems Incorporated
345 Park Avenue
San Jose, CA 95110-2704
Phone: 1-888-724-0508